The Good Ol' Blog Archive for April, 2010
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
The Virginia women’s lacrosse team rolled past visiting George Mason, 17-8, on a chilly Tuesday night at Klockner Stadium. The fourth-ranked Cavaliers surged ahead with a dominant first half and were never challenged after holding GMU scoreless until 1:32 reamined in the first half. Senior All-American Kaitlin Duff, who had 3 goals and 1 assist, said the team wanted to jump out to a fast start in the Hoos’ final regular season home game.
“I think we knew it was really important to come out strong. In the past two games, we’ve kind of come out slow and eventually built our lead so going in we knew we wanted to get the first draw and the first goal,” Duff said. “I think we did a nice job.”
Multiple Hoos did a nice job in fact. In the end, 10 players scored at least one goal; in addition to Duff, Caroline McTiernan (3), Brittany Kalkstein (2), Julie Gardner (2), Whitaker Hagerman (2), Marye Kellerman (1), Caity Whiteley (1), Molly Millard (1), Kelly Austin (1) and Erin Laschinger (1) all moved the netting as well.
Kalkstein also posted 5 more draw controls, giving her 338 in her career. She passed Maryland’s Dana Dobbie’s 334 for second all-time in the NCAA. Kalkstein needs 16 more draw controls to take over the top spot on the list from Vermont’s Kristen Millar (353).
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
Along with displaying incredible feats of football prowess, the Cavaliers announced their spring practice award winners and the captains for the 2010 season this past Saturday. Prior to the start of the scrimmage portion of the day, senior QB Marc Verica, senior CB Ras-I Dowling, senior TE Joe Torchia, senior DT John-Kevin Dolce, and junior DT Nick Jenkins were named the captains for coach Mike London’s first season at the helm of the Virginia program.
“It’s really been a positive process, this whole transition,” Verica said. Although he already has been designated as a captain, Verica has yet to win the starting quarterback position outright for the opener. During the Spring Game, he took snaps with the first-team offense while true freshman Michael Strauss and redshirt freshman Ross Metheny worked with the second unit. Verica, who returns to the team as the only quarterback with any game experience, was 8-23 with two interceptions Saturday.
Verica was not the only captain to express optimism about the new era of Virginia football. Jenkins expressed his appreciation of Coach London’s ”110 miles-per-hour” enthusiasm. “We’re just going to keep up what we’re doing,” Jenkins said. “Just build from this spring to the summer and into camp.” Jenkins was further honored on Saturday with the team’s Iron Cavalier Award for his work in the weightroom this offseason.
On the academic side of things, junior corner Chase Minnifield was this year’s recipient of the Cavalier Academic Achievement Award. Coach London has begun his tenure as Virginia’s head coach with an emphasis on academics. One of his goals this spring was to make sure that players who were on academic warning had ample time to complete their end-of-term assignments and exams.
Rising sophomore WR Tim Smith received the Z Society Dudley Award. Smith was honored for his academic and athletic achievements as well as for his contributions to the community. “It’s a very new feeling out here, a new positive attitude here, in the locker room, and on Grounds,” Smith said. “It’s more relaxed, we can go out and have fun.” Being from Chesapeake, Smith has also expressed his appreciation of Coach London’s efforts to recruit in the Hampton Roads area since there is “a lot of talent down there that gets overlooked.” Expect to see a lot more of the speedy Smith, and his high school classmate RB Perry Jones, this season.
The two recipients of the Rock Weir Award for the most improved players in spring practice were junior fullback Terence Fells-Danzer and junior inside linebacker Aaron Taliaferro. Taliaferro will have an increased role this season in Virginia’s new 4-3 defensive scheme. Fells-Danzer made the switch to fullback after filling a back-up role at linebacker early in his career. He credits his improvement during this spring to getting in shape. “I’ve been getting my weight down and under control,” he said. “I used to be a little chunky guy.”
Monday, April 12th, 2010
The biggest difference between Virginia’s 9-7 loss Saturday afternoon and the Hoos’ 9-1 thrashing of Georgia Tech on Sunday were the little things. But as the song goes, “Little things mean a lot.”
Saturday Virginia did not do the little things.
“We just didn’t do the small things that it takes to beat a really good club,” O’Connor lamented. “A couple of times we had a runner at third base and less than two outs and didn’t get the run home. We didn’t make a play or two defensively that led to a couple of runs and those two runs proved to be pretty pivotal in this ball game. We didn’t execute some pitches on the mound that we needed to to win.”
Saturday, April 10th, 2010
The battle of pitching titans Danny Hultzen (UVa) and Deck McGuire (Georgia Tech) lived up to all the hype Friday night; the Cavaliers used a four-run seventh inning to secure a 7-4 come-from-behind victory. Despite the final score, however, this really was a pitching showcase and the two starters, arguably two of the best pitchers in the nation, was as advertised.
Both hurlers reached the seventh inning and both tossed career highs in pitches (Hultzen 122 – McGuire 127). Neither had all of their pitches working but both gutted out performances and became craftsmen as opposed to throwers. McGuire’s breaking ball and slider was impressive. Hultzen’s ability to extend his pitching arm further than at any other time in his career by relying on well placed off-speed pitches late was equally impressive. The two starters combined for 17 strikeouts! (Eventually the six pitchers deployed by both teams in the game combined for what is believed to be an ACC single record of 24 strikeouts.)
Both pitchers made mistakes in the first six innings. Hultzen got shelled in the fifth, yielding four runs on two GT bombs; McGuire got beat on wild pitches, walks and a costly throwing error to first base that led to three Virginia runs. Still, entering the seventh inning Tech held a 4-2 lead and even with his pitch count elevated, Brian O’Connor sent Hultzen back for the seventh inning. He delivered a 12-pitch, three-up, three-down gem.
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
From UVa corner Chase Minnifield: “It’s a new culture around here. Everybody is going to class and everybody is getting their work done. We’re going to put a new emphasis on graduation and not taking casualties due to academics.”
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
With Virginia unveiling new uniforms on Friday afternoon (read about it here), the football message board is buzzing with talk of new unis, helmets, and dreamed-up combos. We figured we would get the blog in on the action. So check out the home page article “Shining Through: The History Of UVa’s Colors” and this audio link from author Kevin Edds, who appeared on WINA’s Charlottesville – Right Now! with Coy Barefoot on Wednesday. Plus, our good friends over at hoosfootball.com have a statistical look at uniforms article.
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Virginia baseball coach Brian O’Connor often speaks of the success of his teams in terms of how they handle adversity. After the Hoos lost two out of three games to N.C. State last weekend, dropping them from the top spot in the rankings to No. 4, O’Connor’s 2010 team was hit with its first serious blow of the season, and the question would be how it would respond.
“I talked to the team on the bus when we got back from N.C. State, and told them that we’ll be judged on how we handled the difficult weekend,” O’Connor said. “We have a golden opportunity where we have 10 out of our next 11 games at home.”
So far, Virginia has passed the test. After starting pitcher Will Roberts was pulled in the first inning as the Cavs trailed 2-1 early to James Madison on Tuesday night, the Hoos scored the next eight runs on their way to a 9-4 victory at Davenport Field. Though the Virginia rout was a predictable result, the flow of the nearly four-hour game was not. On the pitching side, it was hard to say which was more remarkable – that the Cavaliers used seven pitchers, that those seven hurlers struck out 14 batters, or that they walked 18 hitters. Also adding to the intrigue was the ejection of JMU coach Spanky McFarland in fifth inning, after McFarland jawed with home plate umpire Greg Walls about the strike zone during a pitching change.
Roberts secured just one out in the first four batters, which included a four-pitch walk to leadoff man Johnny Bladel. Thereafter, the six Cavalier pitchers who toed the rubber included Shane Halley, Justin Thompson, Corey Hunt, Branden Kline, Neal Davis, and Kevin Arico. Thompson had the most impressive outing, shutting out the Dukes over 2.1 innings while striking out seven. Davis struggled the most, as he gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in the ninth; unable to secure the final out, he had to be pulled for Arico.
At the plate, hot-hitting freshman Stephen Bruno hit in the three-hole in the line-up for the first time this season, and responded with a 2-for-5 outing, his seventh multi-hit game in his last 10 games. Tyler Cannon’s 3-for-5 performance included three doubles, and Phil Gosselin extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a 1-for-4 performance. John Hicks hit the only Cavalier home run, a solo shot in the third. Steven Proscia, adjusting to occasional appearances at first base, made the play of the game defensively in the first inning; with two runners in scoring position, Proscia made a diving stab on a groundball down the right field line, and tossed to Halley covering first to end the inning.
The Cavaliers take on Radford on Wednesday, whom Virginia has not lost to since 2001. Then comes a much-anticipated series with No. 3 Georgia Tech this weekend, where record crowds are expected to fill the recently augmented bleacher seating at Davenport Field.
Monday, April 5th, 2010
- Sammy Zeglinski deftly and tactfully avoided a pushy evangelical on Grounds today. Nod and smile, Sammy. Just nod and smile.
- The men’s lacrosse team celebrated its win at Maryland with a fun, Sunday afternoon shindig. Undefeated in the ACC – Go Hoos!
- Plenty of student-athletes (and regular students) have been outside enjoying the wonderful summer weather. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Monday, April 5th, 2010
UVa is adding 679 General Admission seats at Davenport Field this week. The seats will be located down the first base line and will be available starting with the home series against Georgia Tech (April 9-11). Virginia already added 300 General Admission seats earlier this season. The nearly 1,000 new seats are available for the remainder of the season. The stadium’s capacity will be 4,219 starting April 9. Read the official release here.
It’s important for Cavalier fans to keep supporting the baseball team this season (the program already set a three-game series attendance record of 9,642 against BC and a single game attendance record of 3,540 against Clemson) because good attendance could aid in hosting postseason NCAA games at Davenport.
Friday, April 2nd, 2010
“So, we’re trying to fix it.” – O-Line coach Ron Mattes (EDGE), gently commenting on the need to undo the last coaching staff’s nonsensical decisions.